May 2017 - In This Issue:
Source: National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep (NAPPSS)

The BCW newsletter is sent to BCW members and partners. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to other coalition members, groups or individuals. 



Contact the Breastfeeding Promotion Manager:

Alex Sosa at or  206-838-8655


For more information about the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington:





ABM Releases Revised Supplementation Protocol from Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act (BABES Act) from United States Breastfeeding Committee

Final Report 2016 Recommendations from Women's Preventive Series Initiative

How Adults Communicate Bias to Children from UC Berkeley's Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life

Women's Bureau Resources Page from United States Department of Labor

Next BCW General Meeting: June 29th 

MAY 4-6, 2017
San Antonio, TX
MAY 5-6, 2017
Fort Worth, TX
MAY 8, 2017
Seattle, WA
MAY 11, 2017
Seattle, WA
MAY 18, 2017
Seattle, WA
MAY 24, 2017
Yakima, WA
JUNE 2, 2017
Seattle, WA
JUNE 12-16, 2017
Bothell, WA
JUNE 27, 2017
Kennewick, WA
JULY 19-22, 2017
Toronto, Canada
JULY 25, 2017
Shoreline, WA
AUGUST 4-6, 2017
Arlington, VA
AUGUST 28-30, 2017
Portland Metro Area, OR

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
University Place, WA
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Shoreline, WA
Hello Everyone,

As many of you know, 2017 will be the final year the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington (BCW) will be housed at WithinReach.  Earlier this year the BCW Coordinating Team met to discuss a timeline outlining the next steps for a final report the BCW will submit at the end of the year containing guidance and recommendations on the future structure and work of the BCW.  Our goal is to seek as much input as possible from the community within the next couple of months.

What we have done so far? 
The last BCW General Meeting was hosted on March 30th. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to ask questions about our final year at WithinReach. If you would like a copy of the minutes send an email to Alex Sosathe audio recording of the meeting can be accessed on YouTube. On April 18th, Jean O'Leary (DOH) and Alex Sosa (BCW Manager) facilitated a group discussion at the State WIC Breastfeeding Coordinators meeting to provide input on priorities for future breastfeeding promotion in WA State. 
So what is next?  
In the next few months the BCW will be seeking feedback and recommendations from the breastfeeding community in general and local breastfeeding coalitions in particular for the final report to DOH. Stay tuned! 

Though this will be our final year in our current home, the BCW in 2017 will CONTINUE its efforts to be an unwavering supporter, promoter and protector of breastfeeding!  The BCW will continue to offer support to local breastfeeding coalitions regarding community engagement and sustainability, provide evidence based resources to the community and facilitate community dialogue in support of breastfeeding equity for women of color.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or feedback about recommendations on the future of the BCW, as well as our on-going work. We really appreciated hearing from you.

Here are a few highlights to share: 
  • The BCW 2016 Annual Report reflects on the coalition's accomplishments last year, including re-establishing the Yakima Valley Coalition, providing capacity building tools to Pierce County Breastfeeding Alliance and the Stakeholder Breakfast: "Building a Breastfeeding Friendly King County: Our Collective Responsibility".
  • Earlier this month, WithinReach featured Mahogony Moms Breastfeeding Coalition in the March edition of the Making Connections Newsletter: Mahogony Moms Partner Spotlight in the Making Connections Newsletter: On April 26, the BCW and Mahogony Moms Breastfeeding Coalition hosted an open house at the Tukwila Community Center. It was an opportunity for community members in the maternal and child health field to come together and discuss collaboration in support of our African American families in Pierce and King County.  The mission of Mahogony Moms is to "strengthen communities with women of color of childbearing age, pregnant and/or with infants through empowerment with breastfeeding education and support by providing services that contribute to the health and validity of the African American Community."  For additional information regarding  Mahogony Moms Breastfeeding Coalition, contact Delores Baccus @ 
  • United States Breastfeeding Committee featured the BCW in their Coalition Spotlight: In the March edition of their newsletter, the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) celebrated the BCW's recent accomplishments on coalition building effort across WA State. The article highlighted some of the BCW's achievements over the last couple of years, such as the Strategic Planning Retreats in 2015, re-establishing the Yakima Valley Breastfeeding Coalition in 2016, and the ongoing equity webinars.
We appreciate your continuing support of the BCW!
Many thanks,
Alex Sosa & Chris Gray
Breastfeeding Community Updates
New Mexico Governor Martinez has signed  HB 138: The Lactation Consultant Practice Act into law. The bill creates licensure for lactation care providers and establishes a scope of practice. HB 138 also amends a section of the Nursing Practice Act to provide funding to the Board of Nursing to provide oversight to the new licensure process.

World Breastfeeding Week 2017
This year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together". The theme is a continuation of last year's and focuses on creating multi-level partnerships in support of sustaining breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals. WBW will continue to be celebrated internationally from August 1-7. 

The BCW will continue to share WBW events and celebrations in our newsletter and on our website. August is just around the corner. If you have something planned, we would love to hear from you! Send event information to Chris Gray at Please include the following information for your event:
  • Date & time
  • Location & address
  • Contact person with his or her information
  • Fun, little description of the event
  • Website link or registration info
We will also be sending out a call for World Breastfeeding Week Events in the next couple of months. Stay tuned!

Local Breastfeeding Events

May 20th: The Great NW Milk Drive will be held at West Central Community Center. The event is hosted by the Spokane County Breastfeeding Coalition and Northwest Mothers Milk Bank. The goal of the milk drive is to highlight the importance of h uman donor milk for preterm infants and to increase the number of milk donors in Spokane. for more information, visit the Facebook Event page  or the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank website.

September 12th: The Pierce County Breastfeeding Alliance is hosting their annual conference at the  Pierce County Environmental Center in Chambers Bay. The conference, titled Creating an Equitable Pierce County Breastfeeding Community, will focus on health equity and the need for culturally sensitive care. Conference registration is available here.

October 19th: The  Snohomish County Breastfeeding Coalition will continue hosting their
at the Brightwater Center in Woodinville. Cathy Carothers will speak
on the topic of supporting families through the return-to-work process. Stay tuned for more information!

October 24th & 25th: We are excited to announce that Nutrition First will be hosting a 
Statewide WIC Conference this year. To stay up-to-date on new developments or to register for the conference, visit Nutrition First's website

If you would like to share coalition updates or local breastfeeding events in future newsletters or the BCW website, contact Chris Gray at

Announcing Two New Baby-Friendly Hospitals in WA State!

Two local hospitals recently earned Baby Friendly and Breastfeeding Friendly status;  Swedish Medical Center- Ballard and Valley Medical Center in Renton. These two hospitals join five other Baby-Friendly establishments in Washington State .
What is   Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative¬© (BFHI), you ask? Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global initiative to improve maternity and infant care practices in the hospital setting to support, protect, and promote breastfeeding. To receive Baby-Friendly designation, a hospital needs to implement the 10 Steps created by the World Health Organization (WHO). The journey to Baby-Friendly can be a daunting process for many hospitals requiring a long-term commitment to strong communication, collaboration across departments, and a financial investment to maternity improve practices. Swedish Ballard and Valley Medical kindly shared their successes, and lessons learned in becoming BFHI.
Both hospitals had a project coordinator and task force to reach Baby-Friendly Status. They noted that their per diem nurse with post partum and IBCLC experience strengthened the task forces autonomy in the hospital to complete the required 10 Steps. To ensure sustainability of training requirements, Valley Medical incorporated the required didactic training, such as practicing latch and alternative feeding skills, into management's annual Skill Stay. Both hospitals got creative with how to educate patients, and one incorporated smart phrases into the electronic communication system that were specific to each trimester to increase prenatal education. Nurses reported increased satisfaction around providing care to breastfeeding mothers and babies after offering more breastfeeding education in their training.
Swedish Ballard and Valley Medical had members of their community champion this process and gained administrative support in their hospitals. Valley Medical worked with their local WIC organization and the Washington State Department of Health to hold training for providers, and their staff felt it helped them address some of the more challenging issues when it came to training requirements for BFHI. Both hospitals felt their biggest successes were creating system-wide policies in support of breastfeeding and visibly improving care for mothers and babies.
Both facilities shared that although the process was long, the fruits of their labor were sweet, sustainable, and rewarding for the hospital and communities who receive their care. Becoming BFHI is like having a community garden; there are laborious tasks involved that require planning, skills, resources, group buy-in, and a bit of wit and creativity to have a successful harvest. In the end, everyone benefits for this labor of love and determination.
Swedish Ballard and Valley Medical have a few tips for anyone interested in becoming Baby-Friendly:

  • Before starting, read the entire process and clarify any questions with Baby-Friendly USA. They are very specific with their requirements and expectations.
  • When trying to gain staff buy-in, utilize respectable physicians who understand the benefits of breastfeeding education for patients speak to their colleagues. This will keep nursing staff and providers motivated.
  • Having a conversation with administration and skeptical providers can be helpful. Ask, "Why is this not an important priority?" and verbalizing why it should be.
  • Talk to the purchasing department as soon as possible regarding the fair market value of infant feeding items. The department controls receipts and contracts with vendors, and meeting this Baby-Friendly requirement can be a long process.
  • If perusing Baby-Friendly ¬© is too expensive, Breastfeeding Friendly Washington is a free recognition program that can help you work towards Baby-Friendly. Connect with Michele Lord at for help strategizing.
  • Don't be afraid to take non-traditional routes, such as reaching out to a local breastfeeding coalition or WIC clinic for help collaboration. Seek out champions in your community to help you.
Congratulations to Swedish Medical Center- Ballard and Valley Medical Center for your work and dedication to improve the standard of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies, and on the momentous achievement of Baby-Friendly designation. 

The Benefit of Early Childhood Intervention for Alaskan Native and American Indian Populations 

On January 26, the American Indian Health Commission, Seattle Indian Health Board, US Department of Health & Human Services, Indian Health Services, WA State Department of Early Learning and Department of Health sponsored an event focused on risk factors for American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations. The session examined how prenatal and early life factors play a role in the development of chronic disease. Partners also explored how to integrate services to address stress, trauma, and depression faced by AI/AN people. At this event, Dr. Ann Bullock gave the presentation, "Getting to the Roots: The Benefit of Early Childhood Intervention". We are excited to share the recording of this event and Dr. Bullock's presentation.



WithinReach's blog,  Making Connections, is a great way to stay up to date with health and well-being issues in Washington State, as well as the work of WithinReach and its affiliated coalitions. Recent posts include:
Subscribe to Making Connections to stay in the loop!  We would also love to include guest blog posts from our coalition members; please let Alex know if you are interested in writing a post about the work of your coalition or breastfeeding support successes and concerns from your community.

Alex Sosa & Chris Gray
Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
A Program of WithinReach
Promoting, protecting & supporting breastfeeding as a vital part
of the health and development of children and families. 

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is a program of WithinReach, a statewide  non-profit organization making the connections Washington families need to be healthy. The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is funded by the Washington State Department of Health Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The Washington State WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.